Katherine Kelly Lang came by her acting career naturally. Now a first-time Daytime Emmy nominee as Brooke Logan -- her role since CBS' weekday serial
"The Bold and the Beautiful"
premiered in 1987 -- she has an actress mother,
("Count Yorga, Vampire").
And her grandfather shot some of Hollywood's most classic movies:
was an Oscar-winning cinematographer whose credits included "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir," the original "Sabrina," "Some Like it Hot," "The Magnificent Seven" and "Charade."
"He was an amazing man," the soap star tells
. "He had a great life ... I mean, 18 Academy Award nominations? He was the best of the best at that time, but I think I appreciated him more when I was older and probably not at a younger age. I grew up around that business, so it was natural for me."
Lang parlayed her early familiarity with showbiz into her professional debut, working with
Scott Baio and
Maureen McCormick ("The Brady Bunch") in the 1979 movie "Skatetown, U.S.A."
"That was right when I graduated high school," she recalls. "I decided, 'I'm not going to go to college, I'm going to be an actress.' I had grown up doing commercials, but that was my first real movie job, and I was so excited ... and so nervous at the same time. I think a lot of my scenes ended up on the editing-room floor because I talked with the highest, chestiest voice.
"Nothing would come out right. I'd see the faces of the director and the producer, and they'd be like, 'What is she doing?' It's an interesting first-timer's story, but that made me realize, 'OK. I have to go to acting school, I have to go to voice lessons, I have to take dance classes. I have to learn how to carry myself as an actress.'"
Also the daughter of Olympic ski-jumper
Keith Wegeman, Lang says she inherited his athletic spirit. "I wanted to do everything," she maintains. "I wanted to be on a Little League team, but they didn't allow girls at that time, so I worked out with the boys' team. I started racing horses early on and continued that and got into endurance racing, so I was in 25-, 50- and 100-mile races.
"I was also on a gymnastics team and a diving team, and I grew up skiing, of course," adds Lang, whose Daytime Emmy outcome will become known when HLN again televises the event Sunday, June 16. "I've done a lot of sports throughout my life. I've always been very competitive."